What is “Shigmotsav Festival” of Goa?
What is the news?
There is a rise in Covid-19 cases across a number of states in the country. However, the Goa government permitted the celebrations of the Shigmotsav Festival. Questions are being raised over the scale of celebrations of the festival in Goa.
About Shigmotsav Festival:
- Shigmotsav festival also known as Shigmo is a spring festival celebrated in the state of Goa.
- The festival is the celebration of a rich, golden harvest of paddy by the tribal communities of Goa.
- Communities: Agricultural communities including the Kunbis, Gawdas and Velips celebrate the festival.
Key Features of the Shigmotsav Festival:
- Firstly, the festival begins with ‘Naman’. It means the invocation of the local folk deities on the village stage or the village ‘maand’.
- Secondly, Instruments used: The percussion instruments like the Ghumat, Dhol, Mhadle and Tashe are used by the male folk. This is called the ‘romta mell’.
- Thirdly, Folk Dances: Many dances performed by the participating communities. This includes Folk dances like Ghode Modni (a dance of equestrian(horse riding) warriors), Gopha and Phugadi, etc.
- Lastly, during the festival, the Goa government organize float parades. This draw both domestic and international tourists.
Source: Indian Express
‘Jaapi’|’xorai’ |’gamosa’ in Assam
What is the News?
Decorative jaapi (field hats), hand-woven gamosa, and bell-metal xorais are making frequent appearances in Assam as the election is coming closer.
- Jaapi is a conical hat. It is made of bamboo and covered with dried tokou leaves (Tokou is a palm tree found in the rainforests of Upper Assam).
- Jaapi is most often used in official functions in Assam to felicitate guests.
- Farmers also use jaapi in Assam. They use them to protect themselves from the harsh weather, both sun and rain while working in the fields.
- Xorai is essentially a tray with a stand at the bottom with or without a cover. Every Assamese household has it.
- Xorai is primarily used as an offering tray during prayers. They are also used to serve tamale-paan (betel-nut) to guests.
- It is also presented along with the jaapi and gamosa while felicitating someone.
- Made of: The bulk of xorai in Assam are made in the state’s bell metal hub Sarthebari in the Bajali district.
- Gamosa is an article of significance for the people of Assam. It is generally a white rectangular piece of cloth with primarily a red border on three sides and red woven motifs on the fourth.
- Made: The most common material for making gamosa is cotton yarn. But on special occasions, they are also made from Pat silk.
- Uses: It can be used at home as a towel (uka gamosa) or in public functions (phulam/floral gamosa). This is also used to felicitate dignitaries or celebrities.
Source: Indian Express
11th edition of “Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav”
What is the news?
The 11th edition of the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav is being held in West Bengal this year.
Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav:
- Nodal Ministry: It is a festival started by the Ministry of Culture in the year 2015.
- Objective: It enhances mutual understanding and bonding between people of diverse cultures. Thereby it secures stronger unity and integrity of India.
- Participation of Zonal Centres: The festival witnesses the active participation of Seven Zonal Culture Centres. These zonal centres play a key role in taking the vibrant culture of India to the masses.
- Significance: The festival is instrumental in showcasing folk and tribal art, dance, music, cuisines & culture of one state in other states. It is reinforcing the cherished goal of “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” and at the same time supporting their livelihood.
- The 10th edition of the festival was held in Madhya Pradesh in October 2019.
Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme:
- It was launched by the Prime Minister in 2016. It will promote engagement amongst the people of different States/UTs to enhance mutual understanding and bonding between people of diverse cultures. Thereby it is securing stronger unity and integrity of India.
- The states carry out activities to promote a sustained and structured cultural connect. Activities are taken in the areas of language learning, culture, traditions & music, tourism & cuisine, sports, and sharing of best practices.
Source: The Hindu
National Tribal Festival “Aadi Mahotsav”
What is the News?
The Vice President of India has inaugurated “Aadi Mahotsav”, a National Tribal Festival.
- Aadi Mahotsav: It is an annual Tribal Festival that was started in the year 2017.
- Organized by: It is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India & Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED).
- Aim: It aimed to familiarise the people with the rich and diverse craft, and the culture of the tribal communities, in one place.
- Theme: “A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Crafts, Culture and Commerce”, which represents the basic ethos of tribal life.
Key highlights of the festival:
- Tribal Handicrafts: The festival showcased several tribal handicrafts such as:
- Maheshwari sarees of Madhya Pradesh
- Toda embroidery from Tamil Nadu
- Moga silk from Assam
- Tribal dishes: The festival also showcased several tribal dishes from different parts of the country namely:
- Dal Pitha, Dhooska, Chilka roti from Jharkhand
- Gurudi, Jowar papad and roti on Mahalpatta from Maharashtra, and
- Samai urundai, Ragi kali and Thenai rice preparations from Tamil Nadu.
What is the significance of this festival?
- Tribes constitute over 8% of our population. However, they are among the most disadvantaged sections of society.
- Their crafts are characterised by natural simplicity, with a timeless appeal. The wide range of handicrafts which include hand-woven cotton, silk fabrics, wool, metal craft, terracotta, bead-work, all need to be preserved and promoted.
- Hence, TRIFED as the nodal agency is working to improve the income and livelihoods of the tribal people, while preserving their way of life and traditions.
Kalrav festival at Nagi- Nakti bird sanctuaries in Bihar
Why in News?
‘Kalrav’, Bihar’s 1st state–level festival started at the Nagi-Nakti bird sanctuaries in the Jamui district, Bihar.
About the festival:
- About the Festival: The festival is hosted by the department of forest, environment and climate change.
- Aim: The event is intended to create awareness about the conservation of birds and their habitat, the wetlands.
- Importance of Birds:
- Those who can understand a bird’s behavior can understand that it sends a signal of any impending natural calamity.
- Birds also help in the pollination of plant species.
- Hence, as a part of the bird conservation plan, the forest department has developed a bird ringing station at Bhagalpur
Nagi- Nakti Bird Sanctuaries:
- Nagi Dam and Nakti Dam are although two different sanctuariess but they can be taken as one bird area due to their closeness.
- These sanctuaries are a home to wide variety of indigenous species and migratory birds that turn up during the winters from places like Eurasia, Central Asia, the Arctic Circle, Russia and Northern China.
- Birdlife International has declared it as an important bird area due to a rare phenomenon. I.e. appearance of Around 1,600 bar-headed geese which is about 3% of the global population of this variety, at this sanctuary.
- The sanctuary is unique for its rock formation, “tor” in Jamui area. In India, this rock formation is available only in Hampi in Karnataka.
1000-yrs Old Monpa Handmade Paper Industry revived
News: Khadi and Village Industries Commission(KVIC) has revived the 1000 year old Monpa Handmade Paper of Arunachal Pradesh by commissioning a Monpa handmade paper making unit in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. The paper unit will also serve as a training center for the local youths to sustain the tradition.
- Monpa Handmade Paper: It is an heritage hand paper artform of Arunachal Pradesh. This handmade paper is also called as Mon Shugu in the local dialect and is integral to the vibrant culture of the local tribes in Tawang.
- Origin: The art of making originated among the Monpas over 1000 years ago. Gradually this art became an integral part of local custom and culture of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Why did it decline? Monpas paper used to be sold to countries like Tibet, Bhutan ,Thailand and Japan as no paper making industry existed in these countries at that time.
- However, the local industry gradually began declining and the indigenous handmade paper was taken over by inferior Chinese paper.
- How will it be made now? The fine-textured Monpa handmade paper will be made from the bark of a local tree called Shugu Sheng, which has medicinal values too. Hence availability of raw material will not be a problem.
- Significance: The paper has great historic and religious significance as it is the paper used for writing Buddhist scriptures and hymns in monasteries.
Singapore’s beloved street hawker culture, now a Unesco ‘Intangible Heritage’
Source: The Indian Express
News: Singapore’s vibrant street hawker culture has been designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO. street hawker centres are representative of Singapore’s multiculturalism with stalls selling cheap, delicious food of Chinese, Malay, Indian origins among others.
- Intangible cultural heritage: It means the traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed through generations as a way of life.
- These include oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe and the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.
- Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage : It was adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2003 and entered into force in 2006. India ratified it in 2007.
- Purpose of the Convention
- to safeguard the expressions of intangible cultural heritage that are endangered by the processes of globalization;
- to ensure respect for the intangible cultural heritage of the communities, groups and individuals;
- to raise awareness at the local, national and international levels of the importance of the intangible cultural heritage.
- Intangible Cultural Heritage Sites from India: India has a total of 13 intangible cultural heritages included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
- These include: Kutiyattam, the tradition of Vedic chanting, Ramlila, Ramman, Mudiyettu, Kalbelia folk songs and dances, Chauu Dance, Buddhist chanting of Ladakh, Sankritana, Craft of the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Nowruz, Yoga, and Kumbh Mela.